Cricketers hold Gallipoli memorial day in Gosport

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Cricketers, their families and friends took part in a poignant Gallipoli commemoration event.

Held at the Gosport Borough Cricket Club, it remembered Hampshire cricketers and 10 Gosport men who lost their lives in the battle, that started 100 years ago on Saturday.

Simon Creal (left|), who is related to a soldier from Gosport who died, with Australian cricketer Blake Meyer.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150797-2)

Simon Creal (left|), who is related to a soldier from Gosport who died, with Australian cricketer Blake Meyer.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150797-2)

Organiser of the event and club secretary Barbara Cooke said: ‘We are a community club and we work with other groups so we thought we would use our history to bring the community together.’

The day was particularly important for one family who discovered that their ancestor was killed on the first day of the battle on April 25, 1915.

Gosport cricketer Simon Creal said: ‘We found out that my great-great-uncle Hedley George Creal fought in the war.

‘It was good to be there to remember him and this event is unique so it is nice to be part of it.’

The discovery was made with the help of headteacher Ian Potter from Bay House School after a school visit to Gallipoli with pupils and with research Barbara.

She said: ‘We were looking at names of local men who lost their lives in the war, I spotted the surname and had to ring Simon.

‘He had not heard of him but we then found out they were related. The club also marked Anzac Day, to commemorate the anniversary of the first major military action by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.

This was important for Australian cricketer Blake Meyer who is visiting the club. He said: ‘It is very different from the ceremonies in Australia.

‘We have one at dawn and then another in the afternoon but it is good to experience another culture.’

The club set up cricket stumps and a Hampshire cap was placed on them, along with flowers to remember the fallen cricketers.

The ceremony was started by 12-year-old Ryan Bloxsom from Bay House School who played The Last Post.

He was followed by a performance from Alverstoke Junior School pupils who sang a variety of First World War songs.

After the ceremony the Fry’s Memorial Trophy game was played between Gosport and Burridge.

Club president councillor Peter Edgar said: ‘I wish I was able to play but it was great to be here to support my club.’

Gosport Borough won the match with Australian Blake scoring 64 not out.